It's probably not what you think.
Yes, when you head to Svalbard for a small expedition cruise you need to pay a little more attention to what you pack than a regular safari. Let's face it, with sub-zero temperatures, wind, snow, zodiac rides, water landings, walking on ice, inside, outside - to name but a few of the activities you will be taking part on during an Arctic adventure requires a little bit of planning.
There is one item that a lot of people forget.
Actually, it's something a lot of people don't even think about.
It's something that you probably won't find on the ship operator's official packing list.
It's something that will make your life a whole lot easier, and way more comfortable, on board the ship and during your expedition.
It's something that, when you get back from your trip, will make you send me an email to thank me for the reminder and suggestion. Actually, since you owe it to yourself to experience Svalbard in the best possible way you will have to book to join me on my next expedition so you can thank me on day 1 of the expedition for the packing reminder.
So here it is...
You need to pack slippers.
Yes I'm serious. You need to pack slippers when you head to Svalbard on a boat.
But let me tell you why.
On an expedition like this will be spending a lot of time in the ship - specifically the lounge and dining area. When you're inside chilling, eating, coffee-ing, Lightroom-ing, napping, chatting, snacking, laughing, presentation-ing, learnng and moving around the boat you want to be comfortable. Then, because of the nature of the trip and the fact that you might have to go out onto deck at any moment because of a <insert a cool Arctic sighting in here> and when this happens you don't want to hassle with getting your snow boots or even hiking boots. For zodiac cruises and landings, absolutely dress up, but for the daily in and out onto deck slippers are not only perfect but totally awesome!
So, with all that said here are the shoes that I normally take with me when I head to Svalbard.
From left to right:
- Muck Arctic Sport Boots for zodiac cruises, landings and hikes in the snow.
- Lowa Hiking Boots for traveling and in and around Longyearbyen.
- Sorrel Slippers for all the reasons I mentioned in the post.
The Muck and Lowa boots are great and I cannot recommend them highly enough. Super comfortable, functional and, in both cases, fully waterproof.
The Sorrel slippers - which you need to go and order immediately (or as soon as you book your Svalbard expedition for 2020) - are made of a full leather upper, a synthetic sole which means you can walk around the deck of the ship without any hassles and the necessary amount of 'fluffy stuff' in side to keep you nice and warm whether you're inside processing your amazing Svalbard images or you're out on deck experiencing one of the most overwhelming and beautiful wilderness areas on our planet.
So there you go.
They're awesome and, trust me, you're gonna love them when you head to Svalbard! (And at home as well.)
Some of the other important packing items would be proper expedition pants, various layers and proper gloves but will share more on these in future blog posts and on my IGTV channel.
As always, if you have any questions or comments on packing suggestions for an Arctic expedition or how you can go about joining me in Svalbard in 2020. Hey, you know what, if you mention this blog post when you book I'll even send you a pair of these slippers which you can then use on the expedition! ;)
Until next time,